Pac-12 Media Day Blog

CULVER CITY, CA: Hear what the Pac-12 coaches and players said from Pac-12 Media Day at Sound Stage #8 at Sony Studios in Culver City...

UCLA:  HC Jim Mora, OL Xavier Su'a-Filo and LB Anthony Barr representing the Bruins.

Mora said he is excited to be sitting between Su'a-Filo and Barr, the pillars of the UCLA program, and called them great ambassadors for UCLA and college football in general.

Mora said they made some progress last year but no where near where they want to be. Mora acknowledges the depleted secondary UCLA will have to deal with this season.

Mora: "We will not throw caution to the wind, we always want to be aggressive in nature."

Mora on Barr: "I wouldn't trade a single one of our players for any player in the country.  I wouldn't trade X for any other OL in the country and I've been very vocal that Anthony is the best player on that side of the ball."

Mora on Barr/Su'a-Filo getting national attention: "UCLA has to win and they have to make an impact in those wins."

Mora on if Craig Lee will make an impact early: "If he proves to be one the players we count on to be productive, then yes he can."

Mora on Eddie Vanderdoes: "He has an appeal scheduled for Monday, (7/29), in person, and hopefully we'll have some more info after that"

Mora on Brett Hundley: "Brett was impressive and he has all the tools to be a great player but he's not a great player yet.  The next step for Brett and it comes from experience and maturity, is to become a better decision maker.  When he runs, he needs to learn how to slide."

Barr on what the Nebraska win meant to the season: "When we beat Rice, we thought "we can do this." When we beat Nebraska we were like "we can REALLY do this.  That win over Nebraska gave us confidence for the rest of the season."

Su'a-Filo on rivalry with USC: "As far as being in LA, we control what UCLA can control. We just worry about UCLA."

Barr on the Matt Barkley hit: "It's funny you ask. I want to know why the tackle just let me go, for whatever reason."

ARIZONA STATE:  HC Todd Graham, QB Taylor Kelly and DT Will Sutton representing the Sun Devils.

Graham: "I think we built some great team unity in our first season.  We've got great leadership and we're very fortunate to have the best strength coach in the country."

Graham: "We have simply one goal at our place, and that's to be champions and we don't mind being held accountable to that."

Sutton on Jadeveon Clowney: "I really don't pay attention.  I know he's a great player and a prototype of the next level.  I don't try to model my game after him."

Sutton on returning for his decision: "It was a very tough decision.  It was like recruiting all over again.  The deciding factor was my grade from the NFL committee and what I needed to get done here at ASU.  I'm nine credits away from graduating and will be done in December."

Graham on the receivers: "We have three freshman wide receivers coming in that are special.  We've really upgraded personnel."

Graham on recruiting: "I'm all about relationships. I wish I could go out in the spring and recruit but they don't let head coaches."

Graham on Will Sutton: "In 25 years I've never coached a defensive player more passionate about competing."

USC:  HC Lane Kiffin, WR Marqise Lee and LB Hayes Pullard representing the Trojans.

Kiffin said that USC has to maximize every player on the roster.

Lee on Robert Woods being gone: "Robert overall was a great player, but I feel we have numerous players that can step up and play that way that Robert played.  I feel like I can look over to Nelson Agholor and see him being Rob.  You have Devon Flournoy, Victor Blackwell, numerous receivers who can stand up."

Kiffin on which WR is due for a breakout season: "The development of Nelson Agholor. He's a very unique player from a skill set."

Kiffin on the college football playoff: "We don't really concern ourselves with those things.  We have no control over them.  We worry about our football team and let other people worry about that stuff."

Pullard on Clancy Pendergast's defense: "He brings that new era swagger which has been great for us.  They simplified the defense for our young guys and older guys to play fast and to the best of our abilities."

Pullard on the defensive improvement: "We are going to continue to be better.  With our defensive line going out there and attacking, and our DBs being better than ever and being peak performers every day will be helpful."

Lee on the QBs: "Like most of you guys, I'm trying to figure out who will be it too."

Kiffin on the QB race; "We're no different than where we were after spring.  All three guys are going in with a shot.  All three guys will be good quarterbacks in their career.  It's going to be the player that is going to help us the most."

Lee on the Heisman spotlight: "Me as a player, I don't go into seasons focused on the hype and the things that come along with it. The Heisman is the last thing on my mind. The Heisman, the Biletnikoff, it's the last thing on my mind.  A coach should always be able to motivate you, but then again, you should always be able to motivate yourself."

ARIZONA:  HC Rich Rodriguez, WR Terrence Miller and LB Jake Fischer representing the Wildcats.

Rodriguez talked about having to replace some seniors but likes his team and thinks they have a lot of talent.

Rodriguez on expecting a defensive improvement: "We'll have more competition and more depth and hopefully we'll be a little luckier with injuries."

Rodriguez, Jake Fischer and Terrence Miller on how much the Territorial Cup loss weighs on them: "None."

Rodriguez encouraging the media to ask the players how the player-led workouts have gone this summer since they can't ask the players.

Rodriguez said there will probably be a Hard Edge 3 with some outtakes.

Miller on Austin Hill's injury: "It means everyone else has to step up in the room.  I have to take a leader role and the young guys have to step up."

UTAH:  HC Kyle Whittingham, TE Jake Murphy and DE Trevor Reilly representing the Utes.

Whittingham talked about bringing in Dennis Erickson to be the offensive coordinator and jump-star the offense.

Whittingham said having the Pac-12 logo on their sleeve has helped tremendously with the players they're recruiting.

Whittingham on QB Travis Wilson: "Right now, Travis Wilson is our guy and we're expecting him to be a leader for us, a leader for our offense and our football team."

Whittingham on the biggest concerns for the Utes this season: "Our two main areas of concerns are cornerback and specialists.  It will be a complete rebuild for us at the corner positions.  As much man defense as we play and the success of our defense hinges on our man defense, that's an area that needs to get up to speed quickly."

COLORADO:  HC Mike MacIntyre, WR Paul Richardson and DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe representing the Buffs.

MacIntyre says he can't tell you how blessed and honored he is to be here, representing Colorado.  They got their six months ago, and coaches hit the field fast and coaches have done a great job.  Said the players are doing a great job this offseason.

MacIntyre on Colorado's future: "The future is bright no matter what you're hearing out there."

Richardson on missing 2012 and what he took away from it: "It was definitely a humbling experience not being able to compete with my teammates and wondering what I could be doing to be helping them."

Uzo-Diribe on the first thing he noticed from new staff: "Just the energy that they bring to the practice field and meeting rooms.  They bring a passion to coaching and that's the biggest difference I've seen."

STANFORD:  HC David Shaw, OL David Yankey and LB Shayne Skov representing the Cardinal.

Shaw intercepts question for Skov on new targeting rule and said college needs rules like the NFL but said proper techniques needs emphasis.

Skov on the new targeting rule: "We've been trained properly.  I'm going to keep playing the way I've been playing.  I've never had an issue with helmet to helmet collisions and I don't foresee it in the future."

Shaw on questions of program dealing with losing Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck: "We don't worry about what other people say.  The foundation of our team is our team.  It's never been about one coach or one team, it's how we play together."

Shaw on being in the BCS Championship hunt:  "We anticipate being in the hunt (for a national championship) for the foreseeable future.  That's how we coach and how we've been recruiting."

A fan question on Twitter asks Shaw what a Gatorade shower feels like and how he doesn't see it coming.  "Hopefully we have more coming in the future."

Shaw on the running back situation: "To my left (Yankey) is the foundation of our running game. I'm deemphasizing who starts.  We anticipate playing up to five running backs a game."

Shaw on QB Kevin Hogan: "We want to see how much he can handle. We're going to overload him in training camp."

Shaw on the Pac-12 QBs. "This still is the conference of quarterbacks and this year will prove that again."

OREGON STATE:  HC Mike Riley, WR Brandin Cooks and DB Rashaad Reynolds representing the Beavers.

Riley on momentum from last year:  "Hopefully we take from what we learned last year and learn from that mode.

Riley noted the losses of players like Jordan Poyer and Markus Wheaton.

Cooks on losing Wheaton: "I expect double-coverage early on.  I feel like that void Markus left, one of those guys will step up and they won't be able to do the double coverage's."

Riley on the new conference guidelines for safety: "I'm proud our conference took the lead on that.

Riley on the returners: "The leadership formation of this team looks good.  We have a lot of guys that have played in games that are back and that is always a good thing."

OREGON:  HC Mark Helfrich, QB Marcus Mariota and CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu representing the Ducks.

Helfrich is excited to be here at his first Pac-12 Media Day as the Ducks' head coach.

Helfrich on taking over for Chip Kelly: "It's an honor to follow in Chip's footsteps.  It's a unique situation in the college football landscape to have that kind of continuity."

Helfrich on the offense: "We wanna score. We don't care the method."

Helfrich on Mariota's stats: "Mariota cares about before and after the hyphen in the team record..."

Helfrich on DeAnthony Thomas: "DeAnthony likes being a moving target. A guy who doesn't line up in the same position every time."

Helfrich on the difference between he and Kelly:  "We talk a little differently and we walk a little differently and that's fine. We recruit a little differently."

Ekpre-Olumu on worst pronunciation of name: "Eye-Fo, Ex-Spray". Some times people call me X-Spray. I don't understand where they got the X from."

Mariota on the weight of the sanctions being lifted:  "As a program, we weren't too worried about it, because the coaches made sure we didn't worry about it.  We made sure our focus was on the field."

WASHINGTON:  HC Steve Sarkisian, QB Keith Price and DB Sean Parker representing the Huskies.

Sarkisian said he feels like an "old dog" with Mike Riley being its his fifth year as the head coach at Washington.

Sarkisian said they plan to make a run at the championship and have a great team in place and is excited to be back at Husky Stadium.

Sarkisian said last year's 7-6 wasn't indicative of last year's team.  In their heart of hearts, they know they were better than 7-6.  Team has worked with a chip on their shoulder all offseason.  And ultimately, until they do it, they're a 7-6 football team.

Parker on the improvement on defense: "The key was overall being aggressive. This year, being more aggressive and concentrating on the little details and helping us win."

Price on having a season like 2011 and not 2012: "I'm ready.  I have a lot to prove to myself, I have a lot to prove to you guys.  I believe I'll be better than I was in 2011."

Sarkisian on sharing a city with the Seahawks: "We have a great relationship with the Hawks."

Sarkisian on Austin Seferian-Jenkins' status: "We'll handle the discipline internally with our football team."

CALIFORNIA:  HC Sonny Dykes, WR Bryce Treggs and LB Nick Forbes representing the Bears.

Dykes is excited to be here and to be a part of the Pac-12.

Dykes: "This is a little bit of a different scene than what we had last year at WAC Media Days (when he was at Louisiana Tech)."

On the complaints of high paced-offenses: "If you're a defensive coach, you want to dictate the style of football.  If you're an offensive coach, you want to dictate the style of football.  There are contrasting views.  I would like to see someone do a study saying how much safer players are in the context of a spread offense.  When you spread the field more, there is more space and less of an inclination to fall on someone else.  You can make an argument that old-school, smashmouth football is more of a detriment."

Dykes on the quarterbacks: "A lot of our success is going to come from the play of our quarterback.  We have three candidates that we feel are certainly capable of getting the job done at a high level.  The game goes through the quarterback."

Dykes on Bryce Treggs: "He's a hard worker, and has a lot of talent and he bought in to what we do quickly.  He has a chance to be a very special player in our offense.  We have a great receiver corps."

Dykes on being picked fifth in the Pac-12 North: "I can't blame the media for doing that.  We were a 3-win team last year.  We were a young team playing a very tough schedule.  The thing is from the inside, we think our program looks very good.  We know the talent that exists in our program.  We know the buy-in these guys  have had.  The biggest thing you worry about is the buy in and how long it will take.  To their credit, the buy-in began on day one." 

Dykes said he's trying to embrace the past history of Cal.  The Big Game will be a measuring stick for Cal and how they measure up against Stanford."

Forbes on the new coaching staff:  "I think the most significant thing is everyone is on the same page and the coaching staff is working extremely hard with one another and expecting us to perform out on the field.

Treggs on the quarterbacks: "All the quarterbacks have done a tremendous job during the spring and into the summer.

Forbes on tackling: "We have a great coaching staff teaching the proper technique.  The best tackles are the ones made with good form."

WASHINGTON STATE:  HC Mike Leach, OL Elliott Bosch and DB Deone Bucannon representing the Cougars

Leach passes on an opening statement and goes right into questions.

On the new targeting rule (and the discussion stemming from Jadeveon Clowney): "Mike Leach: "The Clowney hit is why they have football. It's why football was invented."

Mike Leach's summer reading is the book he's writing.  He started talking about Geronimo.  Said to buy a copy and a couple of extras in case one's lost.

Bucannon on the new targeting rule: "It will be a tough rule going at full speed, but if that's what the rule is, as a player, to the best of my abilities, I will abide by them."

Leach on the quarterback job: "If we were to play today, Connor Halliday will be the quarterback..."

PAC-12 COMMISSIONER LARRY SCOTT:  Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott's opening remarks including thanking the bowl sponsors, advertisers and conference sponsors as well as a reference to the history of Sony Studios and then a comparison between football and movies.

Scott notes how for the 8th consecutive year, the Pac-12 won more NCAA titles than any other conference and Stanford won it's 19th consecutive Learfield Cup.  Six other Pac-12 schools ranked in the Top 25.  Scott notes UCLA's win of the Men's Capital One Cup and called them the most successful men's program in NCAA history.

Scott talked about the Pac-12 Network's first year being a success.  During the year, the Pac-12 Network had 550 live events and 550 hours of original programming.  Pac-12 Network turned a profit in year one, with plans for a significant increase in live productions.  Scott wants to come to a deal with DirecTV and discussed last week but is no closer to an agreement than they were last football season. "I urge our fans to drop DirecTV and switch to those who have it." said Scott.

Scott said the NCAA is at a crossroads and now is a time for a new vision.  Scott on leaving the NCAA: "Ny answer is not breakaway but to evolve."

Scott on NCAA Enforcement: "I think it's fair to say that confidence in the enforcement process is at an all-time low."

Scott noted the three straight years of the Pac-12 having two teams in BCS Bowl Games (Stanford and Oregon).

Scott says the Pac-12 will be on everyone's radar.

Scott talked about the season being where the Pac-12 non-conference schedule is unrivaled.  The Pac-12 will play four non-conference games against BCS Bowl teams from a year ago. 15 non-conference games against bowl teams.

The 100th anniversary of the Rose Bowl Game and the 93rd time the Pac-12 will be a part of it.

This will be the last season of the Pac-12's current bowl arrangements. 

Scott talked about the new guidelines for player safety, and it's been agreed upon but must be voted on by the Pac-12 athletic directors. 

Oregon has been picked to win the Pac-12 in 2013

Here is the preseason media poll:

1. Oregon - 139 - (14)
2. Stanford - 134 - (11)
3. Oregon State - 91
4. Washington - 81
5. California - 45
6. Washington State - 32

1. UCLA - 130 - (12)
2. Arizona State - 124 - (9)
3. USC - 113 - (4)
4. Arizona - 73
5. Utah - 58
6. Colorado - 27

PAC-12 TITLE GAME CHAMPION: Oregon (13 votes)
Others receiving votes: Stanford (8), UCLA (3)

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